In October, we focused our entire 31 days on marriage tips to help build intimacy and a closer connection with your spouse.
Now I’d like to break down a few things that have the potential to ruin a marriage:
*Insecurities – If your spouse suffers from low self esteem, they will have plenty of insecurities. Which will lead us directly into the second item that I’d like to discuss which is …
*Jealousy – If the green eyed monster rears his ugly little head in your marriage or in your relationships, do your best to put him in his place! Show him the door! While a little bit of jealousy is a good thing because it shows that you do care about your spouse and want them to be yours and yours alone, too much jealousy can ruin a marriage! If you become possessive and are easily angered, squash the green eyed monster as fast as you can!
*Lack of Communication – If you can’t wait to call up your friend and tell them everything that is going on within your marriage yet you fail to talk that openly with your spouse, there is a huge problem! If you stone-wall and close your partner out of your heart and will not talk things out with them, nothing will ever be resolved! Don’t shut them out! Instead, take it to God first … pray about it … and then, take it to your spouse! While I’m sure your friends mean well and will offer support, the one you need to be speaking to about all of the problems in your marriage is not your friend but your spouse!
*Trust – If trust has been broken in your marriage, you will have a long road ahead of you. It takes a LOT of time to rebuild and regain trust once it has been lost. Do not lie or keep secrets from your spouse. Also, omitting details is deceitful and a form of betrayal. Be very careful here!
*Assumptions – This is where the lack of communication gets things all out of whack! If you aren’t talking to your spouse, it leaves you with nothing but your thoughts that have gone wild thinking the absolute worst! That is when the devil loves to place doubt and whisper lies in your ear. Pretty soon, you’re making assumptions, then you’re accusing, and no good will ever come of this!
*Pornography – Guard your eyes, your mind, and your heart. If you focus your attention and affections on your spouse, you wouldn’t have time nor the desire to look at such trash! “Be careful little eyes what you see …” It’s not just a cute little song, it’s the truth! You should only long for and desire your spouse! If you are lusting after any one else, you are sinning in your heart and mind against your spouse and against GOD! “Give us clean hands … give us pure hearts, oh Lord!” Again, not just a song, a plea we all need to make and then ensure that we guard what we look at … ask yourself if it’s honoring your spouse. Better yet, think of how you’d feel if your spouse were viewing such things in private while withholding their affections and intimacy from you! You wouldn’t like it one little bit, now would you?
*Flirting – This is where a lot of people don’t have a clear understanding of what flirting truly is. There’s plenty that fall into this category. However, just to be clear … if you stare or look more than a glance at someone, that can be viewed as flirting. If you touch someone playfully on the arm, that can be viewed as flirting. If you laugh and give all of your attention to someone other than your spouse, be careful because you’re on a slippery slope … and this is most definitely flirting!
*Not Having Clear Personal Boundaries – Now this is where we really need to focus! If you have clear personal boundaries, the above will NOT be an issue. You won’t be tempted to go to lunch with a coworker of the opposite sex … alone … to just talk … or laugh … or have a drink after work. This is when you need clear personal boundaries so you aren’t putting your arms around people you don’t know to have your picture taken at their request if you’re out in a group setting or not. If your spouse is within reach, insist that they are in the picture, too! Or simply say no and walk away if they aren’t … because you know in this day and age that your picture will show up on someone’s newsfeed on Facebook. How would your spouse feel if they stumbled upon your picture with another woman or another man? Innocent or not … do not give the appearance of evil.
The above are just a few things that ruin a marriage. What can you do? I’m glad you asked!
*The golden rule truly does still apply:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
A lot of times people simply cannot see themselves until you mirror their actions and behaviors back to them. Then and only then will they have an “Ah ha moment” and begin to see the light and the error of their ways. Some times this is necessary to make them see themselves. I did just that recently, and it sent a very clear message to my spouse and opened his eyes.
*Focus on your spouse. If you’re tempted to look at someone else, turn to your spouse and focus on them, instead. If you’re tempted to think bad thoughts or lustful thoughts of another, turn your thoughts to those of your spouse and all the things you love and enjoy about them. Truth be told, if you were 100% committed to your spouse, this would NOT even be an issue!
*Keep the lines of communication open. Talk, talk, talk … and talk some more!! Do not share anything of an emotional nature exclusively with your friends or coworkers of the opposite sex. Go to your spouse with all things, especially things on an emotional level!
*Do not put yourself into a situation where you will be tempted! If you find yourself there, quickly make your way to the nearest exit! It IS possible to resist temptation! Even Jesus was tempted in the bible, yet He did not give in! Ask yourself what Jesus would do … and ask yourself how your spouse would feel if they found out or consider how YOU would feel if your spouse was doing the same thing you’re considering doing or are currently doing! Ouch! If it would hurt you if your spouse was doing it, you KNOW what you’re doing without a doubt would most certainly hurt your spouse!
Think on that!
We want all marriages to thrive! God ordained your marriage. He put you two together. You committed yourself willingly “til death do us part.” Don’t take that lightly. Be intentional about your marriage! Focus on each other, and there won’t be time for any other to try to weasel their way into your lives!
***Most importantly*** Turn your eyes upon Jesus … get your heart right with God first … your spouse second, and your marriage will be successful.